The Next Big Thing 2013 Winner: Alex Runions

by SaskMusic

June 21, 2013 in SaskMusic News

The Finals show of Big Dog 92-7/Astral Media’s “The Next Big Thing” country talent competition was held last night at The Whiskey Saloon in Regina, with Alex Runions (Regina), JJ Voss (Regina), Samara Yung (Yorkton) and Tenille Arts (Weyburn) aiming to convince an esteemed panel of judges that they should be selected as this year’s winner. The judges were left with a very difficult decision following stellar performances by all four artists, with Alex Runionsbeingdeclared the winner at the end of the night.
Alex Runions (Regina): Already a familiar face amongst small town dirt roads and hometown saloons, Regina-based (Kipling-raised) country singer/songwriter Runions is growing his fanbase faster than a prairie fire, alongside accolades and accomplishments which include opening for Gord Bamford, being a finalist in the Radio Star National Songwriting Contest, performing at Craven Country Jamboree, Dauphin Countryfest, Wascana Park Canada Day Festivities and the Casino Regina Downtown Summer Concert Series; and receiving a Saskatchewan Country Music Award (SCMA) nomination for Best Male Vocalist/Rising Star.
The Next Big Thing started out with a large number of submissions from artists all across Saskatchewan, which was narrowed down to Twelve Semi-Finalists by a music industry jury. The Top 4 artists were then selected to perform in the live finals, where each performed an original set that was evaluated by the judges on criteria including vocal ability, songwriting, overall performance/stage presence, originality, market potential, and audience response.
A large crowd was on hand to enjoy the show. Four music industry professionals formed the judging panel: Chris Foord, Music Director/Drive Home Announcer, Big Dog 92-7/Astral Media; Skip Taylor, Performing Arts Coordinator, Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Councils; Karen Mondor, Entertainment Buyer, Casino Regina; and Erin Aldridge, Director of Marketing & Artist Relations, Invictus Entertainment Group.
Runions receives a custom-tailored prize package worth over $15,000, including $10,000 cash, and is offered performance spots at the Craven Country Jamboree and Queen City Ex. He will next meet with SaskMusic to decide upon a plan of action for investing the prize into his career and taking advantage of additional opportunities that may arise as reigning champion. It is hoped that the prize will have a true and lasting impact on his career.
Big Dog 92-7/Astral Media and SaskMusic note that they were extremely pleased with the quality of artists who submitted this year and are so proud of the talent within the Saskatchewan music community. Congratulations as well to the eight semi-finalists who rounded out this year’s Top 12: Amy Nelson, Grain Report, Kelsey Fitch, Lexie T, Shantaia Poulin, Steve Gibson, Tommy John Ehman, and Val Halla. Thank you to The Whiskey Saloon, our venue sponsor.
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For information regarding The Next Big Thing please contact Lorena Kelly, SaskMusic, 1-800-347-0676 or
Regina’s True Country Big Dog 92-7 launched on February 20, 2008, and is owned and operated by Astral Media Radio, which operates radio stations across Canada. SaskMusic is a member-based, non-profit corporation that stimulates the growth and development of the Saskatchewan commercial music industry through leadership, promotion, training, advocacy and partnership.